Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bangkok Cinema Scene: Movies opening October 25-31, 2012

Tai Chi Zero

A few more movies come out today, the usual day movies are released in Thailand, following the batch of new movies from Tuesday's Chulalongkorn Day holiday.

Jet Li produces but does not star in Tai Chi Zero , a "steampunk" martial-arts fantasy, which is directed by Stephen Fung and stars Yuan Xiaochao, William Feng, Eddie Peng, Angelababy, Shu Qi, Daniel Wu and Tony Leung Ka-Fai.

The story is set in "legendary" Chen Village, where everyone is a martial-arts master, using powerful tai chi in all aspects of their lives. A young man with a strange fleshy growth on his forehead arrives with hopes of learning the style, but it's forbidden to teach outsiders. Everyone, from strong men to young children, defeats him using their tai chi. But when a villain from the village's past returns with a frightening steam-powered machine and plans to build a railroad, the villagers realize they have no choice but to put their faith in the stranger who has a secret power of his own.

Tai Chi Zero is the first part of a new martial-arts movie series, with Tai Chi Hero soon to follow, according to Crave Online, which recently interviewed Fung.

Critical reception is mixed, with both praise and pans for its crazy visual style. Unfortunately, it's in Thai multiplexes with a Thai soundtrack only. Rated 13+.

Also opening

Silent Hill: Revelation – This is a sequel to the 2006 cult-horror hit that's based on a video-game series. Here, teenage girl Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) have been on the run for years in a bid to escape supernatural forces they don't understand. On the eve of her 18th birthday, Heather's father disappears and it's revealed that her life has all been a lie. Her search for answers leads her to the alternate dimension of Silent Hill, which is ruled by a demonic cult led by Claudia (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Leonard Wolf (Malcolm McDowell). Heather must try and escape or be trapped forever. In 3D in some cinemas. Because this is opening in the U.S. just this week, critical reception is yet to be determined. Rated 13+.

Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker – The boy detective and his pals must solve a riddle in order to disarm a bomb that's been set at a crowded soccer stadium. This is the 16th animated feature featuring Conan, a popular children's figure in Japanese manga and anime. Weirdly titled in Thai-English Conan the Movie: The Eleven Striker, it's only at SF cinemas and is Thai-dubbed only. Rated G.

Also showing

Les revenants (They Came Back) – Robin Campillo directs this 2004 zombie drama starring Géraldine Pailhas, Jonathan Zaccaï, and Frédéric Pierrot. A great selection for Halloween, it's a twist on the usual zombie films that involve the rampaging undead wanting to feast on brains. Here, the dead, mostly elderly, return and seek to reintegrate with society and seem content to merely to go back to their former lives. Critical reception is generally positive. It's in French with English subtitles at 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 31 at the Alliance Française. No viewers under 12 will be admitted.

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